Here's what to expect as Sask. restaurants reopen
REGINA -- Many restaurants and bars are preparing to open on Monday under phase three of the Reopen Saskatchewan plan, but they must follow rules put in place by the province.
Seating must be limited to 50 per cent capacity and set up in a way that maintains two metre between tables.
For some restaurants, like Bushwakker Brewpub, this means taking more than half of the tables and chairs out of the dining area. They also removed many seats from the bar area.
“When we were using the measuring tape to see how close the tables were, we found out that we couldn’t operate at 50 per cent capacity, so we’re going to be at about 35 per cent capacity,” Grant Frew, the bar manager at Bushwakker Brewpub, said.
Other restaurants, like Memories Dining and Bar, will seat customers at every second table to ensure there’s distance between them.
The maximum number of people permitted to sit at one table at any restaurant or bar is six.
Servers, bartenders and cooks will take extra hygiene precautions, which includes wearing face masks.
Thomas Siarkos, the owner of Memories Dining and Bar, said his staff will take any step necessary to make customers feel safe.
“Our manners at the table will show that we do really care, and we take all the recommendations from the health district really seriously,” Siarkos said.
Reservations are not mandatory, but some restaurants are encouraging customers to consider them due to the capacity limits.
“It’s going to allow us to have a lot more control and be much better prepared to service them well, safely and efficiently,” Frew said.
The way menus are handled at restaurants and bars will differ. At Bushwakker, they will use disposable menus which will be thrown out after every use. At Memories, they will use extra sanitizing product to thoroughly wipe down menus.
Despite the changes, many restaurant owners and operators are just looking forward to welcoming their customers back.
“We’ve been counting down the days every since they made the announcement,” Frew said. “To see them again in the pub setting, [even] at a reduced capacity, is still going to be absolutely wonderful.”
The Reopen Saskatchewan plan says restaurants should not pre-set tables and they should use cutlery rolled in napkins when possible. Buffets are not permitted at this time. It also advises against coat checks.
For people who are not ready to sit down at a bar or restaurant just yet, many will still be offering take-out and delivery service.